Welcome to the world of Supermarket Mania. A PlayStation Minis title that brings time management to the PSP. Players take control of a young and peppy girl named Nikki who is hired by the Torg Corporation to stock their grocery store, clean up garbage, and keep their customers happy. You are found to be too slow and incompetent and you and your cashier friend are quickly replaced by robots. Enter Mr. Clarence. He owns a small shop and hires both you and your friend to work for him, and thus, your progression towards supermarket domination begins.
The gameplay starts out easily enough, but gets harder as you progress through the different levels. Starting out you make sure your shopping cart is full and then stock your five shelves with whatever the customers want. The number of shelves and customers, and what they prefer, slowly grows. As that grows, so does the mess they make in the shop. Picking up garbage is a must since old ladies have a tendency to slip and fall (luckily this isn’t Lawsuit Mania or you’d get hit with one for sure). Keeping your stocking cart full and shelves stocked is a must or you’ll end up with unhappy customers. Their current disposition is displayed with a smiley face that changes as their happiness declines. If that face catches fire, you can forget that sale. You can queue several tasks at a time, as long as your kart has the available supplies.
As you succeed and earn cash, you can purchase upgrades like a bigger stocking cart, a bubble gum machine for buyers who can’t resist, and better products for your shelves. Along your journey other curve balls are thrown at you like unruly teenagers, and you must deal with them accordingly. As you play through the later levels, the tasks can seem monotonous as there’s only so much you can do with a time management game.
If you aren’t really interested in the playing through the story mode, there’s always the intriguing ‘Endless Mode’ to keep you busy while you play G5 Entertainment’s Supermarket Mania. This mode does just what it says, and will not stop until you fail.
The graphics for the game are nice 2 dimensional screens. Nothing ground-breaking, but pleasantly designed and smooth. Animations are fairly stiff, but this is just a mini. The layout for the shop itself makes it is easy to navigate and direct Nikki to the different shelves. The game seemed to slow down in the later levels when there were a high number of customers in the store, but the game was still playable. The music for the game is upbeat and seems to fit the pace of the title, and if it does get on your nerves after a while, you can always go into the options and turn it off completely.
At $4.99 the game is at the top end of the minis price range, making it rather costly for a game that is basically just a rudimentary time management game. Supermarket Mania can provide hours of enjoyment for fans of management sims, but it does little to provide anything new or unique, and fails to expand upon the genre.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Smooth animations and decent graphics
Expensive for a Mini